The Bowling Green men’s basketball team rode a strong second half surge and a near triple double from guard Justin Turner to a 81-71 home win this past Sunday night against the visiting Drexel University Dragons. The win sees the Falcons’ record to improve to 4-3 on the season, and they remain unbeaten through three home games.
A sluggish defensive effort in the first half saw the Falcons trailing 45-43 at the start of the second half, but a 14-3 run down the stretch saw them take control of the game 74-63 with about four minutes left in regulation.
“I thought our first half defense was very bad,” Head Coach Michael Huger said. “We didn’t have any intensity on the defensive end to start the game. We gave up 45 points at halftime, which was way too many. We let those guys get comfortable.”
“In the second half, we decided to play really good defense, and that was the difference in the game. Our defense in the second half.”
It was a monster game for the sophomore Turner, who scored 29 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 6 assists to go with 2 blocks and 2 steals. Senior big man Demajeo Wiggins recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Falcons were able to lock down on defense in the second half after Huger turned to a lineup of Turner, Dylan Frye and three bench players - Daeqwon Plowden, Tayler Mattos and Matiss Kulackovskis. That smaller lineup was a big part of holding Drexel to just 9-41 shooting during the second half, and opponents are now shooting 39.4 percent from the floor against the Falcons this season, good for second in the MAC in opponent field goal percentage.
“In the second half, the difference was pretty obvious. We defended better,” Turner said. “We were just getting more stops and getting out in transition.”
Multiple stops led to buckets in transition, with the Falcons scoring 18 points off turnovers and outscoring the Dragons 50-34 in the paint. Bowling Green also held an edge on the boards, out-rebounding their opponent 50-43.
“At the end we were able to get stops and that led to our transition,” Huger said. “Everything started with our stops.”
The Falcons will play a pair of road games to open up their schedule in December. The team will first travel to Hartford for a Dec. 1 contest on the road, scheduled for tip off at 2 p.m. The Falcons will then travel to Cleveland for a road matchup with Cleveland State on Dec. 5 before returning home for a contest against Green Bay on Dec. 8 at the Stroh Center.